The Nintendo Switch has finally been given a release date and price tag. During an announcement, a number of anticipated details regarding the new console’s features were disclosed. The video game system is likely to provide a distinct gaming experience that will set itself apart from the Sony and Microsoft consoles.
During an official announcement, Nintendo stated that the release date of the Switch would be March 3, 2017 and the starting cost will be $299. The price is comparable to current Xbox One and Playstation 4 offerings. According to USA Today Reggie Fils-Amie, President for Nintendo of America, stated that 2 million units are set to be shipped for the launch of the new console.
The video game system will come with a new type of controller called the Joy-Con and allow for video game play experiences on the big screen at home or in a self-contained mobile format after taken out of its dock. In mobile mode, the console is expected to have approximately six hours of battery life. However, it was noted that battery life can significantly vary depending upon what software is being used and other operating conditions.
Among the features, the Joy-Con controller appears to be getting a lot of attention. While the controller performs video gaming functions like many others, the Joy-Con has the capability to be attached to the Switch directly or operate independently of physical connection. Some of the features include being able to take instant screenshots, a very sensitive IR motion sensor to detect other players, or peripheral components, like amiibo figures, as well as a refined rumble feature.
Beyond the nuances of the physical trappings of the console there are other features worth the recent announcement wanted to make clear. Nintendo reports that the Switch will be significantly supported by third-party publishers. Activision, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft were just a few major companies that were mentioned. Online game play will continue to be a feature with an eventual paid requirement for the service. Alternatively, the Switch makes full use of its mobile feature by allowing local play with other Switch users.
Even though Nintendo is doing its best to rally excitement for the Switch and overcome the shortcomings of the preceding Wii U, there appears to be vulnerability. Tech Crunch points out that the launch of the new console will be accompanied by a limited number of game titles at launch. There also appeared to be some reservations about which games utilized which features. For a console that aims to be mainstream it may lose appeal to those that lack the required learning curve to acclimate.
In spite of the challenges, Nintendo remains fairly confident that any short comings at launch will be shortly rectified once the third-party contributions begin to fill out the offerings. Unfortunately, gauging success may be tricky if the Switch has a slow start. Furthermore, success may also depend upon third-party developer’s ability and make use of the new system’s unique features.
Let us know what you think. Will the Switch signal a major comeback or will Nintendo’s attempt at another innovative video game console cause them to take another hit?
By Chris Hansen
Photo Courtesy Nintendo